Finding and Selling the Metal Scrap


The worth of the metal recycling industry is currently standing at £5.6 billion, as per the report of the British Metal Recycling Association. Scrap metal dealers work at the commercial and domestic levels, and one can make money by getting their scrap metal recycled via registered dealers.

What Is Scrap Metal?

Any damaged objects, appliances, or machines that are no longer in use but are made of valuable metals become metal scrap that can be recycled by being sold to a registered scrap dealer. Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals can be recycled or smelted and different metals, including aluminium, brass, copper, steel, etc., can be sold out.

There is a vast range of metal items in your house which can be sold, such as non-functional fridges, microwave ovens, dishwashers, stoves, utensils, washing machines, rusted bolts, nuts, screws, locks, doorknobs, hinges, etc. The scrap prices vary depending on the value of a particular metal and its usage. It is preferred to deal with local merchants to find suitable prices.

Scrap Metal Selling Requirements

Scrap dealers collect and recycle the metal scrap, protecting the environment by not allowing non-degradable materials to enter landfills. A scrap dealer needs a Scrap Metal Dealer Licence, and you need to provide your identification either in the form of a driving licence, passport, utility bill, council tax letter, debit/credit card statement, or bank/building society statement. Additionally, it is necessary to follow the laws to avoid any fines or penalties at any point.

Legal Requirements

According to the law, the dealer should have both site and mobile collector licences; they need to renew the mobile collector licence after every three years by paying the licence fees, and it should be displayed on the vehicle used for scrap collection. Scrap metal collection is illegal without these licences, and the dealer must seek permission from the owner to search for scrap on private property. A fine of ¬£5,000 is imposed in case of an invalid mobile collector’s licence, and illegal activities can also lead to jail.

You cannot take the money in cash to sell scrap metal under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013; instead, you can get money online directly into the bank account or through a cheque. It is also important to keep a track record of all your dealings to avoid any illegal act by any other dealer.

scrap metal uk

How and Where to Find the Scrap Metal?

You should know about all the practices for scrap metal collection and potential places from where you could find it. At the household level, you can follow these techniques to find the metal scrap:

  • Examining the household items which are no longer in use and are non-operational.
  • Finding the metals present inside the non-functional appliances as their worth is more if sold separately as metal scrap.
  • Checking the old car’s spare parts to find valuable metals.
  • If you are renovating your home, there are greater possibilities of having scrap in the form of old taps, pipes, wiring materials, etc.

Safety Precautions while Separating Scrap Metal

You should know enough about several metals’ appearance and value and handle the scrap carefully; be wary of how to handle sharp and heavy metals to avoid injury.

Strategies for Selling Scrap Metal

You can follow some strategies to sell your scrap metals at the best prices:

  • You should check for the prices of different scrap metals online and then make a deal with the scrap-collecting dealer accordingly.
  • You should contact more than one scrapyard to get their price quotes and decide which can offer you a better rate.
  • You can negotiate the price with the scrapyard owner by mentioning the condition of the metal and its value.
  • It would be best if you did not sell scrap in small amounts; instead, you can collect more scrap to sell it in bulk quantity for better prices.
  • It would be helpful to segregate your metal scrap based on its type to sell it separately and receive a suitable price for each metal scrap.
  • You should rent a pickup vehicle to transport your scrap, or your scrap dealer might offer this facility.
  • You should weigh the vehicle when loaded with metal scrap and after unloading all the material to get the actual weight of metal scrap.
  • You should provide your identification to get yourself registered with the scrapyard facility.
  • You should disassemble the appliances to reveal internally used metals and clean up the blockages present inside pipes.
  • It would be good to properly store the scrap metal before transporting it to any buying facility to prevent the metals from rusting.

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